Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.


Wired magazine writes about the so-called phenomenon of podfading: When someone stops doing a podcast.

Reasons cited for stopping podcasts:
- Boredom
- No success
- Overwhelming success
- No money

Meanwhile, the US-based National Public Radio this week reached the milestone of 13 million podcasts downloaded just six months after it started podcasting.

At the pace mainstream media is entering the new media space, will today's star bloggers and podcasters be tomorrow's roadkill?

Note: I may cross-post comments on the IHT blog and they may be reproduced in the paper for publication.

Dave has posted Part 1 of another round of his now regular State of the Blogosphere reports. Part 1 is about Blogosphere Growth.

Here is the Summary:

* Technorati now tracks over 27.2 Million blogs
* The blogosphere is doubling in size every 5 and a half months
* It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
* On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
* 13.7 million bloggers are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
* Spings (Spam Pings) can sometimes account for as much as 60% of the total daily pings Technorati receives
* Sophisticated spam management tools eliminate the spings and find that about 9% of new blogs are spam or machine generated
* Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour
* Over 81 Million posts with tags since January 2005, increasing by 400,000 per day
* Blog Finder has over 850,000 blogs, and over 2,500 popular categories have attracted a critical mass of topical bloggers
See his blog post for pretty charts and lots of details.

Martin announced today that FON as accepted 18 million Euros in funding from Google, Skype, Sequoia Capital, and Index Ventures. They are also going to support FON strategically. I blogged about FON earlier when I joined the advisory board, but FON is an innovative company that is starting a movement to allow people who have Internet access to create wifi hotspots.

If you’d like to join the FON Community, register with us at You can select the user profile that most suits you. FON is now working in a Beta phase and is only available for Linus. A Linus is any user who shares his/her WiFi in exchange for free access throughout the Community wherever there is coverage. In the future, FON will also be available for Bills. Instead of roaming for free, Bills are users who prefer to keep a percentage of the fees that FON charges to Aliens. And Aliens are those guys who pay to connect.
The strategic relationship with Google and Skype is quite amazing and a key point. The telephone companies have been trying to prevent Internet companies from "free-riding" on "their" infrastructure. For instance:
"(Telecoms) and the cable companies have made an investment, and for a Google or Yahoo or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes (for) free is nuts!"

-- SBC Communications CEO Ed Whitacre

There is clearly a battle between telephone companies who believe they deserve to recoup their investment in infrastructure by gouging people for voice and soon wifi access. On the other hand, companies such as Skype and now FON are trying to push the bottom-up Internet philosophy to one of the final layers where the monopolistic dinosaurs still reign. FON's ability to get Skype and Google who are natural competitors to work together to try to lower the cost of access to for users reminds me of Yahoo and Google both supporting Firefox to provide users with an free and open alternative browser.

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Warning: World of Warcraft post

World of Warcraft was architected as a "sharded" system. There are probably over a hundred servers, each with a unique realm. There are several different types of servers like Role Playing, Player vs Player, Player vs Environment, etc. The rules are slightly different, but the games are essentially the same. The problem is, each world is unique and players can't move between the servers. Therefore, even though World of Warcraft is "the new golf", it very unlikely someone you meet in real life will actually be on a server where you can play together.

The other big problem with this sharded system is that some servers are very underpopulated and some are overpopulated. The server that our guild was on, Khadgar, became overpopulated. We often had to wait in a queue to log in, there was terrible lag and worst of all, new players couldn't create characters on our server. This meant that we couldn't invite real life friends to create characters in our guild. This quickly put a halt to the growth of our guild.

Note to self: When I make a MMORPG to beat World of Warcraft, make sure it is one world like Second Life is.

Recently Blizzard announced that they would be allowing people to transfer characters from Argent Dawn, Bloodhoof, Khadgar, and Zul'jin to a new server called Eitrigg. Transfers would start at 3AM PST on February 1st and end at 3PM PST February 8th. Transfers could only be requested from 3AM to 3PM each day.

A long discussion ensued on the mailing list and in guild chat. Many of us had built relationships with other guilds and other players. On the other hand, many were fed up with the lag, wait and inability to invite our friends into the guild. Several friends from other guilds said that they were ready to move. As I was being wishy washy trying to get consensus, Slashar aka Don Park, pulled what we call a Leeroy Jenkins and move his main character to the new server. It is a one-way transfer. Slashar is probably the most respected officer in the guild and his lead by example started an avalanche and we are now on a one-way street to our new home.

Interestingly, many great players from other guilds have joined the exodus and are joining our guild on the new server. It looks like our guild will be larger and possibly more unified after our move. However, I think several of our core guild members won't be able to leave their friends and family and many of those who are moving will be leaving their best friends. Watching all of the sobbing and heartfelt goodbyes to our friends on Khadgar reminds me of some sort of mass displacement... like a whole clan deciding to move to the New World...

Eitrigg will be closed for new character creation until the transfers are complete. If you are transferring to Eitrigg or want to create a character there and join our guild, let me know. There should be "We Know" people hanging around who you can ask for an invite. We have a healthy batch of low level characters, but also have enough experienced level 60's to probably be running MC shortly. See you there!


Has MP3 killed the radio star?

A number of youth-oriented radio stations around the world have reported falling listenership.

Ironically, the rising popularity of music through MP3 may be the cause. (Someone told me today that some radio stations have a playlist as short as 25 song that they play in different order, so not surprising if they are losing listeners to an iPod with more songs.)

Will podcasting kill the radio station? How have people seen their radio listening habits change?